Tips ‘n’ hints

Keeping methi rotis soft

Methi rotis (Indian bread with fenugreek leaves) tend to get a bit dry once they’re made and stored. Neeti Sukhtankar shared this tip to keep them moist. Add a couple of spoons of yogurt into the dough while kneading. It will keep the rotis soft.

Home remedy for an itchy throat or cough

dodda patreThe dodda patre (coleus aromaticus) leaves are excellent for a bad throat or even a mild cough (which is not an infection). Some nurseries carry it, or just ask friends who have some in their home gardens. Just planting a stick of this will make it grow. Pick a couple of leaves and crush them well to get a teaspoon or two of its juice. If your kids can drink the juice straight, nothing like it!  Otherwise mix it with some honey. The name for this leaf in some other Indian languages is here.

Using dried herbs

Infuse dried herbs with a little warm water and let it soak for half an hour before you use them.

Give left over wine and juice a second life – Supakitchenista

  • Freeze left over wine in an ice cube tray. Use when serving soda or ginger ale.
  • Add cooled sugar syrup to left over wine and freeze in ice cube trays. Use when serving ginger ale or sangria.
  • Freeze left over lime juice, orange juice or lemon juice. Use when serving soda, vodka or gin.

“Chilling” red wine, from Poornima

Instead of popping it in the freezer for a while, freeze a few red seedless grapes and throw a couple into each glass of room temperature wine before serving.

Stretching a gravy – Srija

To stretch any Indian masala gravy (oh don’t we all want to do this at some point in time?), pour some milk into the gravy. yeah, plain milk. This even works if you do not have enough coconut milk. But do not substitute it for coconut milk. That will alter the taste. My mum used to do this with egg curry regularly. Some of my friends tell me you can do this with chicken curry as well.

Cardamom, whiff of the hills / July 27 2010

sugar and cardamomCardamom peel or seeds are usually added to tea leaves to add an exotic aroma to the brew. Try this variation. Add a few peels or whole pods to your sugar tin. The aroma isn’t strong enough to get into coffee, for example, where you don’t want it. But oh, open the tin and be transported to the hills…every time! The peel is also big enough to be left out of your sugar scoop.

Fruit and chaat / Jul 6 2010

Sprinkle a little chaat masala over a combination of cut fruit. Kids love anything ‘chaat’! They’ll love the sweet-sour taste. Apples, chiku, bananas, oranges and sweet lime go well together. Chaat masala comes in many brands, you’ll find some in any supermarket.

Dust cinnamon sugar / Jul 6, 2010

Fab India now retails a cinnamon sugar powder  in an easy-to-use sprinkle box. Sprinkle this rich, brown dust over a cup of steaming coffee, over ice cream or any dessert that takes your fancy. It will turn it into a smoky-sweet delight!

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